Following the Emerging Design and Rising Design Star competitions, last night’s Birmingham Fashion Week presentations (hosted by Tara Gray) built on Thursday evening’s momentum and brought us looks from local boutiques Theodora and Stella Blu, European drama from Iota, Prophetik’s ecochic sensibility, and streamlined sophistication from by SMITH.
Iota Westenburg’s luxurious couture wraps, capes and coats are made of “durable, renewable, recyclable, bio-degradable” skins with fur and shearling accents. Designed by Machteld Schrameijer, each opulent piece featured special detail – either lace insets, tapestry paneling, or seaming – in rich colors such as rust, aubergine, chocolate and snowy white. Her hooded evening coat with lace, eyelet and beading was especially beautiful. With background music including the Lara’s Theme from Dr. Zhivago, Schrameijer’s presentation put me in the mind of being bundled up for an elegant sleigh ride across the snow.
Next up was Smith Sinrod’s line by SMITH, which I found to be sophisticated and polished. Sinrod pairs unexpectedcolors and rich silks together in a lovely way; the woman who wears her line must be bold and confident. I think her line could be worn by women of various ages without making the wearer look too young or too matronly, which can be difficult for a designer to achieve. by SMITH featured separates and dresses that would make it easy for one to get dressed quickly and feel very pulled-together.
Headlining designer Jeff Garner of Prophetik closed the evening with a short film on the ethical design process and both fencing and dancers on the runway (although not all at once). Prior to the show Garner noted that the audience would see “a lot of romance and…dramatic flair” and he definitely delivered. His hemp silk blends and Civil War-era silhuoettes embody his social conscience and upbringing in Tennessee (Garner does not own a television). His pieces featured light colors and soft fabrics and he showed multiple looks for both women and men. Prophetik can be purchased locally at Manhattan South and will even be seen on an artist at the Grammy Awards tomorrow night (I’d give away who’ll be wearing his gown but you’ll have to stay tuned for our Grammys coverage on Monday!).
Images courtesy of Lynsey Weatherspoon Photography